Poetry that is constructed of bits and pieces of relationship, vulnerability, love, narrative, images, bodies and longing while seeking to find understanding, or at least calm, amid the discordant endings and beginnings life provides. Full of striking and provocative writing at the internal and external edges of awareness.
In her début short collection of poems, Skull-Filled Sun, Haitian-American poet Valérie Déus evinces a strong voice full of “…jazz riffed, watercolor vignettes that create a gorgeous melange of Kreyol garnished musings…The voice is at once experiencer and witness, revealing multiple perspectives on the roads that all children of the African diaspora must travel” (Keisha-Gaye Anderson). Down the streets of Brooklyn where she grew up or from her current home of Minneapolis, Déus shares honest emotion, strong imagery, and musical language in her poetry, “… with a new and glowing syntax, weaving worlds together, making what seems foreign downright native…” (Danielle Legros Georges). Déus poems embody the life of a second-second-generation Haitian immigrant living in today’s America—less the dream of her parents and more a place of overlapping boundaries, identity performance, and cultural expectations. Readers walk with her on the streets, play with her and her friends, love and hurt alongside this woman making her way, following her own path. “In Skull Filled Sun, innovation and energy bubble up through the language of the night, the language of Haitian mothers and of Brooklyn streets. Brown girls run the city, they run the world, and in this stunning collection, Valerie Deus generously lets us ride along” (Brenda Coultas). From “Bar Hopping,” the first section, to “Bridges,” the second, these thirty-five pages provide poetic pleasure and invaluable insight on every line of every poem.
Michael Dickel’s third book of poetry collects poems he wrote during the Israel-Hamas conflict of summer, 2014. The poems evoke a resistance to the violence all around, and make acute observations of its effects on family and daily life–from the provocations before, through the disruptions of rockets falling on Jerusalem and devastating loss of human life during attacks on Gaza, past the line of failed cease fires to an uneasy truce. The closely observed incongruence of daily life while war rages comes through as the poet witnesses his young son’s responses and considers the question of the future we want versus the one that is coming. Dickel’s poems are intensely personal, touching our emotions and bodies, while at the same time they address important global issues.
Michael Dickel’s highly engaging fourth book gathers flash fiction written in recent years–from a series of surreal memoryscapes to flash thrillers to psychological experiments. This hybrid writing blurs genre lines across poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and cultural criticism in an entertaining montage of imagery. The woman with a beard–the unnamed main character of the first series of stories–travels as much in her mind as in the world around her, but somehow all merges with her memories to reveal emotional realities of being human. She and the toad commune somehow, through magical surrealism and mystical physics. The toad provides metaphysical commentary, at times. The garden may or may not exist. The palm reader in the second series of stories predicts the uncertainty of multiple futures which unfold in the following stories–less connected than the toad’s garden, the palm reading follows the many lines of possibility through a collection of slightly more conventional tales. Yet, any conventionality is only on the surface–just beneath, under the cracks in everything, the stories remain surreal, mystical, strange while entertaining readers and exposing the characters’ odd humanity. These stories will amuse you as you keep reading, unable to stop yourself from finding out what next outlandish reality will appear on the pages.
In his second is a rose press poetry collection, gary lundy continues honest deliberations on relationship, vulnerability, love, sexuality, and gender-transforming every day images into doorways into conscious and unconscious constructions of body, self, and world. His poems still seek out understanding, even while revealing the slipperiness of “truth.”
In By a Lake Near a Moon: Fishing with the Chinese Masters, a collection of 114 poems-variations based on Kenneth Rexroth’s translation, 100 Poems from the Chinese (New Directions, 1971)-poet DeWitt Clinton places the poems in a contemporary landscape of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with lyrical scenes of the changes of seasons, the Lake Michigan beach front, bridges across the Milwaukee rivers, and roads and highways of the nearby countryside. While the themes of the classical Chinese poets (8th-13th Centuries)-Tu Fu, Meo Yao Ch’en, Ou Yang Hsiu, Su Tung Po, The Poetess Li Ch’ing Chao, Lu Yu, Chu Hsi, and Hsu Chao-remain the same, these adaptations bring life and energy from Classical China to the modern-day world with the changes in the landscape and temperament of the Chinese poets retold by a respected contemporary American Midwest poet.
Jennifer Juneau’s poems aesthetically explore broken relationships, love, the world around her, life, and mental health in clear imagery that conveys life in the 21st Century. She explores her life and world as a careful observer of the details that reflect mood and emotion while letting us feel the glimmers of joy and hope that are possible. Her writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Million Writers Award and a Sundress Best of the Net. It is gathered here for the first time in a collection. Readers will treasure these poems and return to them again and again.
MICHAEL DICKEL( IS A ROSE PUBLISHER)
Michael (Dickel) Dekel has authored six published books and chapbooks (pamphlets) of poetry and short fiction, and published over 200 individually published poems, short stories, and non-fiction pieces, in addition to book-reviews and academic articles—under his birth name, Michael Dickel. Nothing Remembers, his most recent poetry collection, came out in 2019 from Finishing Line Press (https://tinyurl.com/y3684acu). For Fisher Features, Ltd, he wrote a successful NEH film-development grant and the script for a documentary film on Yiddish theatre. He works as a freelance editor for publishers and individual authors, co-edited Voices Israel Vol. 36 (2010), and served or continues to serve as an editor of one sort or another for several print and online literary periodicals. He has taught writing, literature, and English language in higher education in both the U.S. and Israel. Michael publishes an online blog-Zine (https://MichaelDickel.info/). He is the past chair of the Israel Association of Writers in English. He holds a Bachelor’s in psychology, a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing (Fiction and Poetry concentrations), and a Doctorate in English.
GARY LUNDY ( IS A ROSE CO-PUBLISHER)
gary lundy has published five chapbooks, the two most recent, and still in print, when voices detach themselves (Is A Rose Press, 2013), and at | with (Locofo Chaps, 2017), and has two book length collections, heartbreak elopes into a kind of forgiving (Is A Rose Press, 2016); and each room echoes absence (Foothills Publishing, 2018). He has published his writing throughout the US as well as in Canada, Czeck Republic, and Israel. Most recently his poems have appeared in Fence, Meta/Phor(e)/Play, Cutbank: Weekly Flash Prose & Prose Poetry, Setu: Western Voices Special Edition, and Alexandria Quarterly.
gary was raised in Denver, Colorado. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth Century American Poetry from Binghamton University. He taught English at SUNY-Oswego, St. Paul’s College, and for twenty years at the University of Montana Western. gary, now retired, is queer and lives in Missoula, Montana.
TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC CURATOR(MBIZO CHIRASHA
Mbizo CHIRASHA is the Author of a Letter to the President (Zimbabwe) Co-Author of Metaphors of the Rainbow (Malawi). Co-Author of Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi (India, USA). Co-Editor of SecondNameofEarthisPEACE (WorldBeyondWar.org, USA).African Contributor Poet /Essayist at Monk Arts and Soul Magazine (UK). DitchPoetry( Alberta University,Creative Writing ,Canada). Poetry Potion( Canada). FullofCrow(Canada). Scarlet Leaf( Canada). PoetrySoup( USA). PoemHunter(USA).OneGhanaOneVoice(Ghana).RhythmInternationalVoices(Canada).AfricanWriter.com(Nigeria).OviMagazine(Finland) Atunis Galatica( edited Agron Shele, Belgium). BlackWell PoetryPamplhet (Oxford School of Poetry, UK). Litnet ( South Africa) . OfiPress( Mexico City). FemAsiaMagazine (UK). InkSweatandTears (UK). Squackback (USA).The Poet a Day Zine (founded by the late Maestro G Jamie Dedes, Brooklyn, and USA). DemerPress International Poetry Series (curated and edited by Hannie Rouweler, Netherlands). World Poetry Almanac Series( Curated and Edited by Hadaa Sendoo, Mongloia). Poesi. Is Journal (edited by Peter Semolic, Slovenia). Festival de Poesia de Medellin (founded and directed by Fernando Rendon, Colombia).DIOGEN Magazine (Turkey). RuckSackPatchPoetry, Voices of Diversity (Passion for Poetry, curated by Antje Sehn, Italy). Cultural Weekly ( International Space,USA) . Zimbabwean (published Wilf Mbanga, UK) .WordCity monthly (curated and edited by Darcie Friesen Hossack, International). IHRAF Publishes (founded by Thomas Block, NewYork, USA). Diasporan Online (founded and edited by Lola Thomas, Spain) .New Best African Poets (curated and edited by Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, Zimbabwe) and more.Mbizo CHIRASHA includes 2020 Festival Readings/ Writers Symposia includes Festival de Poesia de Medellin, (Colombia). University of Glasgow Creative Writing Programme, (Scotland). World Poetry Festival, (USA). IHRAF LIVE, (New York USA). Rucksack Poetry Patch, Voices of Diversity, (Italy and Mexico). International Human Rights Day, IHRAF Arts Concert and Poetry Live Symposia, (New York, USA) .SpokenWordOnline(Paris,France).